Sony Touts the Strength of the PS4 Ecosystem

Posted on June 13, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox, Xbox One with 62 Comments

Sony Touts the Strength of the PS4 Ecosystem

After weathering Microsoft’s Xbox One X assault, Sony this week spoke to the strength of its own video game platform. And it has some big numbers to back up its claims.

The biggest and most important number, perhaps, is 60.4 million. That’s the number of PlayStation 4 consoles that Sony has sold to consumers worldwide. Interestingly, that’s not much of an improvement from the 60 million figure that Sony revealed in April, however. At that time, a related report suggested that the firm was maintaining a 2-to-1 sales lead over Xbox One, with Microsoft selling approximately 33 million units worldwide.

So Sony wins that one handily, as always. But Sony also announced that the “PlayStation ecosystem has more than 70 million monthly active users worldwide as of the end of March 2017. And we can compare that to Microsoft’s Xbox user base, since the software giant announced in April that “Xbox Live monthly active users grew 13 percent” in the quarter ending in March to 52 million.

And that is interesting, right? Sony may outsell Microsoft by about 2-to-1 in console sales, but the respective user base sizes aren’t as far apart. This is due, no doubt, to the fact that Xbox Live is also available on Windows 10 PCs, which provides a much larger potential audience than any console. So it’s possible that Microsoft could actually surpass Sony in this category in the coming years. But even now, you can see the genius in Microsoft’s strategy of making Xbox more than just a console play.

Sony also announced that its PlayStation Plus service has 26.4 million paid subscribers worldwide as of the end of March 2017. This service is the equivalent of Xbox Live Gold, but Microsoft hasn’t broken down its Xbox Live user base into paid and unpaid groups for many years, so it’s hard to know how this compares.

Finally, Sony revealed that “active PS4 users worldwide spend more than 600 million hours in total per week on the platform as of the end of March 2017.” Microsoft did not use this metric in the comparable quarter, but I believe it has done so in the past. Whatever, we can’t really compare this either.

In any event, Sony puts up big numbers here. But there is a ray of hope for Microsoft: It may never beat the PS4 console directly, but Xbox could very well win out over PlayStation more broadly.

 

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